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ALLISON, Iowa (Aug. 27) - This Thursday night, it’s an encore presentation by the Masters of Fast as the Highway 3 Raceway in Allison, Iowa, hosts the O’Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Touring Series for the second time this season at the historic Butler County Fairgrounds.




After a two-week hiatus, the rugged road warriors of the O’Reilly USMTS will have their claws sharpened and their machines will be bright, shiny and fine-tuned as they embark on the final swing of National Events that will culminate with the crowning of the 2007 O’Reilly USMTS National Champion just 10 days later.




In their last visit to half-mile semi-banked oval, Mike Hejna dominated the main event for his only win of the season, but Hejna has taken part in only five of the last 29 events and none of the last 14, so a repeat victory may be a tall order. If it’s anything like the first eight races in the 16-race Hunt for the O’Reilly USMTS National Championship, fans and competitors alike should keep their eyes on the “four horsemen.”




Jason Hughes, from Colcord, Okla., leads the mud-slinging Modifieds into battle as the current points leader, but he is just 20 points ahead of Jason Krohn of Slayton, Minn. (804 to 784). Jon Tesch of Watertown, S.D., sits third with 741 markers while eight-time defending O’Reilly USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, is winless in ‘The Hunt’ and facing his biggest threat ever to his throne. Ranked fourth with 713 points, he is 91 behind Hughes with just eight races remaining.




Nonetheless, while four drivers have broken away from the pack, none of the 26 drivers in ‘The Hunt’ have been mathematically eliminated from contention for the title. Greg Skaggs of Bixby, Okla., is one of three drivers from the Sooner State in the top-6, and is currently fifth with 646 points. Tommy Weder Jr. of Woodward, Okla., is sixth with 636 points, while New Sharon, Iowa’s Zack VanderBeek is seventh (632), Tommy Myer of Blooming Prairie, Minn., eighth (613), Steve Holzkamper of Gentry, Ark., ninth (563) and Rookies Rockin’ Sports Bar Rookie of the Year Scott Green of Derby, Kan., rounds out the top-10 with 524 points.




Thursday’s main event will pay $2,000 to the winner, while all 24 starters will take home at least $250. No license is required to compete with the O’Reilly USMTS, but licensed drivers enjoy such benefits as pay scale bonuses, increased tow money, points fund eligibility and contingency awards. The superior American Racer KK-704 racing tire is the Official Tire of the O’Reilly USMTS, but top-flight drivers who simply want to chase the cash and the glory (no points) are welcome to utilize the Hoosier G60 tire.




Also on Thursday’s card will be three additional classes racing for national and track points in the lucrative USRA Casey’s General Stores Weekly Racing Series. USRA Stock Cars will be battling for $400 to win, while USRA B-Mods and USRA Hobby Stocks will each be shooting for a $300 top prize.




Pit gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and grandstand gates will swing open at 5:30. Hot laps start at 6:30 and the first green flag is scheduled to wave at 7 p.m.




The Highway 3 Raceway is a half-mile semi-banked dirt oval located 0.3 miles north of SR 3 on S. Main St. (towards downtown) at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Allison, Iowa. Day-of-race info is available by calling the track hotline at (319) 267-9977 or visit www.highway3raceway.com online.




To learn more about the O’Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Touring Series, call the headquarters office at (515) 832-7944 or visit www.usmts.com online. For more information about the United States Racing Association (USRA), visit them online at www.usraracing.com.




Remaining 2007 O’Reilly USMTS Schedule:




Thu Aug 30 … Highway 3 Raceway, Allison, IA


Fri Aug 31 … Chateau Raceway, Lansing, MN


Sat Sep 1 … Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, MN


Sun Sep 2 … Kasson Speedway, Kasson, MN


Mon Sep 3 … Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, MN


Thu Sep 6 … Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, MN


Fri Sep 7 … Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, MN


Sat Sep 8 … Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, MN




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